Weymouth's Greenhill Gardens put up for sale

Esplanade chalets, Weymouth Image copyright N Chadwick
Image caption The two-storey Esplanade chalets were given listed status by English Heritage in 2008

Seafront gardens, chalets and other facilities at a Dorset resort are being offered for sale by tender.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council wants to sell Greenhill Gardens in Weymouth, saying the chalets on the site are too expensive to maintain.

Community groups and private firms have until 16 October to submit proposals for either a 125-year commercial lease or 35-year community use lease.

A petition against the sale of the site has gathered more than 900 signatures.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council finance councillor Colin Huckle said: "The Greenhill Chalets and the associated recreational facilities are on a prime spot on our seafront and are a popular attraction for both residents and visitors.

"Selling the chalets will secure and enhance the supply of beach chalets in Weymouth, bringing back to use the closed Esplanade chalets, permitting development of additional chalets and ensuring an improved infrastructure surrounding the chalets including the retention of recreational facilities as well as viewing terrace."

Opponents of the sale fear any buyer will eventually want to develop the site.

The council said covenants would prohibit some forms of development.

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